1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Orval Trappist Ale - Brasserie d'Orval S.A.

Not Rated.
Orval Trappist AleOrval Trappist Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,328 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,328
Reviews: 2,113
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 204
Gots: 390 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Orval S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is 6.2% when released in Europe, US labels say 6.9% due to labeling laws.

Many agree that the somewhat unpractical addition of this sometimes undesired yeast strain is what grants Orval its age worthiness, not to mention unique aroma, making it a one of the few beers worth cellaring.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 09-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Orval Trappist Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,328 | Reviews: 2,113 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SuyoonShin
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

SuyoonShin, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of N3ptune
4/5  rDev -4.8%

N3ptune, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of mschind
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- This bottle is good until 6-2016. Been sitting here for 10 minutes waiting for the two inch meringue like mocha colored head to dissipate and it shows no sign of doing so. Clear dark gold with amber tints and a big cloud of bubbles. The foam is very sticky and really coats the glass. (tulip)

S- Floral and fruit with mild hops and light malt and the unique scent of the Belgian yeast strain.

T- The taste is drier than the nose would suggest. Starts faintly sweet with pear like notes whiich quickly shifts to a slightly bitter middle and then some yeast before a balanced but dry finish.

M- Clean, medium light body with some warm alcohol at the back.

O- Perhaps the best Belgian pale on the market.

mschind, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of Bananaman
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great Trappist beer from Orval! The only commercial beer from Brasserie d'Orval, and I think that's enough (because it's so good!).

Hazy orange-golden colour with a nice white-off head.

Smells amazing with lots of hops and some dryness. I think the smell is mostly really nice hops, and some yeast tones.

The taste really lives up to the smell and it's full on hops,light sourness. You can really tell that this one is Dry-hopped.

Lovely beer, great that it's pretty easy to get to. You can order them at any Systembolag in Sweden.

Bananaman, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a glowing golden orange opaque. Head is frothy and brilliantly white. Alot of lacing with this one. Truly a beautiful ale.

S - Very fragrant, it hit my nose as I was pouring it. Smells very sweet (fruity esters) with some spicy undertones. An intriguing combination.

T - This is one of those rare beers in which the smell only hints at the taste. Some nice complexity here. Toasty with a hint of sweetness. Spicy flavors of pepper and coriander contrast with a bit of citrussy fruitiness. The hops really come through in the finish.

M - Pleasant mouthfeel. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

D - Complex and flavorful yet fairly light. This would be perfect on a spring day.

BostonBrewins, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Ianleesrivette
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Ianleesrivette, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of BastardFromABasket
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A deep golden ale that leaves a big bubbly head that fades after a minute or two. No lacing. Smell is earthy and funky. Tastes of pepper and blue cheese. It's dry and bitter like citrus rind with a bit of brett funkiness. Light, effervescent mouthfeel. Overall very nice.

BastardFromABasket, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of jawas
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

jawas, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of antichuckmoore
2.5/5  rDev -40.5%

antichuckmoore, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of earthboundagain
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok been wanting to try this beer for a while, but been putting it off, this bottle is about 14 months old, so I hope it is as good as I am hoping.

Ok the color is a dark honey with a super fluffy of whit head, the beer laces like a champ.

Ok the nose is very complex, and it is hard to sort it all out, but we do have some various spices, light funk, lemon peel, and an earthy mustiness.

Ok the flavor is as complex as the nose. We have some floral hops, mixed with a burst of spice, all intertwined with some lemon peel. The funk in the nose does not show up in the taste though. The beer is a sipper and takes a whack at the ole palate.

The mouthfeel is dry and well carbonated and is built on a slightly full body.

I like this beer but at $4.99 it will be a nice treat.

earthboundagain, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of xnapshot
4/5  rDev -4.8%

xnapshot, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Jsteez
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip beer glass from a bottle. Bottled a year ago in Feb. 2012.

A-Deep orange and a cloudy brown. Poured a 2.5 inch bubbly head. Minimal lacing on the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes and then dissipated into a thin bubbly edge around the sides of the glass.

S-Fruity, pineapple, hints of pepper and spice. Quite a dry smell. Hints of sweet malt as well.

T-Pineapple and citrus fruit; hints of clove, but not too much. There was a spicy dry and peppery taste in the aftertaste. Quite a complex array of flavors. The aftertaste left a slight dry and bitter feeling as well. I like Belgium beers and their complex character. However there are some Belgium beers out there that take a while to get use to. This was much different than I was expecting.

M-Full body with a lighter feel. Very refreshing and crisp to some degree! This is one of the first Belgium brews that, in my opinion, is actually sessionable. Light on the carbonation, but very refreshing.

Overall, this beer deserves hight honors and it is one the highest rated beers in my profile. This beer has been sitting in my cupboard for a year, which really made it taste so good. It is a higher 6.9%, but it felt like a lower 4-5 %. I was quite pleased with the non-alcohol taste. I have a couple more in my cupboard that I will open next year, perhaps the year after. The date says they are good until 2017! Maybe I'll just wait until then to crack these babies open, eh!? The older the better! Cheers!

Jsteez, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of VTEno17
4/5  rDev -4.8%

VTEno17, May 29, 2014
Photo of twilight
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm trying to pin down the aroma. It's subtle unless I stick my nose into the goblet- Like old leather, or, rather, like the white part of lemon rind. Yeah, that's it...

Beautiful 12 oz. bottle, Chimay goblet because I have not been able to find an Orval goblet in NYC during the last month. Alas.

The pour makes me nervous, the head is fluffing up above the rim of the goblet and goes up and up. Beautiful, beautiful orange color with a huge head that remains fairly thick until the end of the glass. It's still there, but it's just thinner by the end. Webbed lacing all over the glass. Perfect.

The taste is of smoothness, giving way to sourness and a hint of lemon that gives way to a bite with hoppy undertones. Good, but a little more maltiness would have been in order. The beer is light with just the right amount of carbonation and a hint of the alcoholic content in the aftertaste. In truth, I would love to drink this all night were it not for the price.

twilight, Jan 30, 2004
Photo of seanbhudson
2.25/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: A cloudy orange beer that pours with a huge white head. That fizzles away relatively fast.

Smell: Surprisingly little smell. A little lemon and hay.

Taste: The cabonation almost overwhelms the flavor in the beggining. Then you taste a bit of hay, lemon zest and a slight medicinal taste.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body. A lot of cabonation and dry.

Drinkability: Dry, hay and medicinal is not what I am looking for in a beer. I know people love this, that is why I wanted to try it. Who knows, maybe I got a bad batch. :-(

seanbhudson, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of youngblood
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel glass. Had a very lively white head. Disappated unevenly, showing just how alive this brew is. Leaves heavy lace. The brew itself is a rusty brown. Very cool color.

Smelled very citric with a nice biscuity undertone. Bits of flowers in there also. Slight leather and tobacco scents.

Very nice taste here, heavier hop profile than most other trappists that I've had. Nice sweetness providing some lovely fruit flavors and butterscotch/caramel sweetness. Excellent depth here. Leaves the mouth quite dry, but still satisfied. Has a very creamy body to it/ definitely medium to full bodied beer here. Would love to drink a few of these.

youngblood, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of bigkahunas4
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured form the Orval bottle into a tulip.

This was one of the more carbonated beers I've ever seen. Huge white, creamy head - amazing lacing. Body is an orange amber, really looks majestic. Nose is quite full, lots of grass, brett, and a honey-lemon.

Beer keeps its carbonation during the sip, big bubble feeling. Feel is quite light and crisp. Flavor is light, with a grass hop finish.

Very tastey, and obviously well constructed. ABV isn't absurd for this Belgian, so it makes a decent session.

bigkahunas4, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of TheMsnLink
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

TheMsnLink, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of wyatt
5/5  rDev +19%

wyatt, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of cbgbslev
4/5  rDev -4.8%

cbgbslev, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of skypup
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased and consumed at a roadside fry shop near Dinant, Belgium.
.33L Bottle served in an Orval Chalice

A: Cloudy amber with a thick and pillowish head.

S: Malty, touch of floral hints

T: Complex bitterness with obvious yeast and some pear and cherry after tones.

M: medium carbonation; full bodied beer.

D: This was certainly my favorite trappist beer; these monks know how to brew beer. Enjoyed with a cone of Belgian fries, this is heaven.

skypup, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of carlitosbronson1
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

carlitosbronson1, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of andrewm190
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well done from Orval. This beer was notably sweet, and with a hearty sense of the hops. An initial clean finish with a sneaky aftertaste that kept the hops close to my conscience. Poured a yellow-gold, with yeast for cloud cover. The beer worked well within itself, in that it didn't shy away from acknowledging its complexity, but didn't overwhelm the palate with a kaleidoscope of various sweeteners that hinder other Belgians.

andrewm190, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of brandoneast
3.38/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours extremely hazed orange-copper, with a fluffy head letting convoluted aromas of rose hips, chamomile, granny smith apple, leather, and burlap sack. Flavors of wet hay, orange blossom water, lemongrass, petals, some wood, and a slice of hop bitterness towards the back - accumulating to a lingering body and light carbonation.

Orval can challenge the craft beer neophyte, but guarantees to remain etched in your memory as one of the most unique experiences one can have with brew.

brandoneast, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of groovy24
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

groovy24, May 03, 2013
Orval Trappist Ale from Brasserie d'Orval S.A.
94 out of 100 based on 4,328 ratings.